Sierra Club Urges Veto of Bill to Nullify Water Quality Standard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 30, 2018

Media Contact:
Justin Fay – Justin.fay@sierraclub.org – 612-251-1457 (cell), 612-659-9124 (office)

Saint Paul, MINN. (April 30, 2018) – On Monday afternoon, the Minnesota Senate passed HF 3280, a bill to nullify Minnesota’s existing sulfate pollution standard for wild rice waters. The bill now heads to Governor Dayton’s desk for his signature or veto.

Margaret Levin, State Director for the Sierra Club North Star Chapter issued the following statement in response:

“Wild rice is a critical cultural and environmental resource. As a sacred food for the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) people and a unique natural resource found in very few places outside of Minnesota, we have an obligation to ensure that wild rice is healthy, abundant and protected for generations to come.

“While many legislators have professed a commitment to protecting wild rice, platitudes simply are not enough. House File 3280 is a radical bill that violates the Clean Water Act, virtually guarantees future litigation and undermines both sound science and industry accountability.

“Not everyone realizes that this bill nullifies the water quality standard entirely, eliminating the state’s ability to craft any rules to apply it. So while the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has pulled back their proposed update to the existing standard, HF 3280 would leave Minnesota’s environmental lead agency with no authority to create or enforce any protective standard for wild rice.

“Governor Dayton should promptly veto this legislation. The Sierra Club stands ready to join other stakeholders in continuing work to protect and enhance wild rice and the waters where it grows.”

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